I don't often blog about specific topics on this site ( I guess I should, it is a blog after all) but I need to really get this out to any music students who happen to read this. YOU NEED TO PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENT IN THE SUMMER
March, teach, go to a festival, a workshop (or two) but do something that has your instrument in your hand, and on your face.
It is vital to your development as a musician - you will make professional and personal connections that will last a lifetime. I can speak directly to this - I first met my good friend and colleague at Mason, John Spirtas ( Principal Percussionist with the Washington National Opera) when we were students at the Aspen Music Festival. I'm heading to NYU in a couple of weeks to teach another MC at NYU, for Jonathan Haas, my teacher from (wait for it....) ASPEN. I still work with folks I met at NOI, Sewanee, from the Duff class, even when I was a SUB at NRO....Festivals matter. Professional connections matter. Go. Invest in your career.